The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Labour’s Share of Income

  • Douglas Gollin
Reference work entry


Economists have long studied labour’s share of national income as a crude indicator of income distribution. More recently, labour’s share has also been seen as offering insights into the shape of the aggregate production function. This has made labour’s share a parameter of interest for macroeconomics, growth economics, and international economics, among other fields. Recent studies support the longstanding observation that labour’s share of national income is relatively constant over time and across countries. Measurement of labour income, however, can be difficult in economies where many people are self-employed or work in family enterprises.


Aggregation Balanced growth Cobb–Douglas functions Constant-returns production function Entrepreneurial income Factor shares Labour’s share of income National income accounting 

JEL Classifications

D4 J10 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas Gollin
    • 1
  1. 1.